In 1861, Hudson Taylor contracted a serious illness, forcing him to leave behind a fledging church of 21 believers in Ningpo, China, and return to England in hope of recovery. While away, the lost souls of inland China plagued Hudson’s conscience: “The feeling of blood guiltiness became more and more intense…every day tens of thousands were passing away to Christless graves! Perishing China so filled my heart and mind that there was no rest by day, and little sleep by night till health broke down.” He prayed for China. He poured his labors into revision of the Chinese New Testament. Still, his soul could not find rest.
By June 1865, Hudson’s health had improved, and he was invited to Sunday worship in Brighton by friend George Pearse. The experience left him utterly broken:
“Unable to bear the sight of a congregation of a thousand or more Christian people rejoicing in their own security, while millions were perishing for lack of knowledge, I wandered out on the sands alone, in great spiritual pain; and there the Lord conquered my unbelief, and I surrendered myself to God for this service.”
It was that Sunday afternoon on a sandy beach on the South coast of England that Hudson, age 33, was moved to start the China Inland Mission. Missionaries of the CIM would adopt the dress of schoolteachers for the poor, do a combination of medical care and evangelistic preaching, and depend solely upon prayer for financial support. Initially, he prayed for 24 missionaries to begin the work. Less than a year later, he set sail for China with his prayers answered.
On this podcast, discover Hudson Taylor’s burning passion to reach the lost.
Here are some further resources:
- Austin, Alvyn, “Fashion Statement”, Christianity Today, accessed 9 April 2019.
- Chao, Samuel H., “Hudson Taylor & Missions to China: Did You Know?”, Christianity Today, accessed 9 April 2019.
- Piper, John, “The Ministry of Hudson Taylor as Life in Christ”, Desiring God, accessed 10 April, 2019.
- Steer, Roger, “Pushing Inward”, Christianity Today, accessed 9 April 2019.
- Taylor, J. Hudson, China: Its Spiritual Need and Claim, London: James Nisbet & Co., 1865.
- Taylor, J. Hudson, A Retrospect, 1894.